Department: Academic Affairs

Areas of expertise:

  • Stress, Suicide, Wellness
  • Marginalized Populations
  • Diversity Equity Inclusion

Sparkman-Key is associate provost for inclusive strategy and equity initiatives and a professor in the College of Education. She teaches diversity-focused courses in education with expertise in teaching human services and counseling related courses.

Sparkman-Key's research prioritizes addressing barriers to diversity, equity and inclusion. Her research also focuses on further defining the professional identity of human services practitioners and delineating practice with vulnerable populations. Dr. Key relentlessly exposes the experiences of Black women in academia and promotes strategies for Black women to thrive. She also believes in empowering vulnerable populations, evidenced through her research and international work with pregnant teens and efforts to support at-risk families. She has given a TEDx talk on Black youth suicide titled, “The Silver Dollar Approach to Preventing Black Adolescent Suicide."

Sparkman-Key received a bachelor's degree in sociology at Madonna University, a master's degree in liberal studies from the University of Michigan-Dearborn and a doctorate in human services, with a focus on social and community services, from Capella University. She has earned post-graduate certificates in college teaching and global health.


Media contact: Eric Gorton,

Narketta Sparkman-Key

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